Marian Develops Diversity on Campus with Inclusivity Luncheon


Gregory Robinson, Reporter

On Monday, March 4, 2019 Marian held their first inclusivity luncheon, where they talked about what teachers are incorporating into the curriculum to show diversity and inclusion. On the panel the teachers each gave their statements of what they are trying to do differently in the classroom. While students enjoyed a delicious meal, they were asked to dwell and respond to questions on how those individual professors would be able to help people with diverse backgrounds possibly understand more of the curriculum, or how to challenge it. 

With open discussion and opinions given by the students explaining better ways to teach people of color, it broadened the minds of the individuals involved. Plus, it showed students how they can better be represented in the classrooms. There were specific points of view represented regarding how some individuals may not have received the same type of education as most college students, or how they didn’t receive help at home and had to figure out a lot of the things on their own. Some students even recalled falling behind on assignments and trying to catch up on their own, rather than asking questions or for an explanation of what they may have needed during that specific lecture. 

Students of color and diverse backgrounds have to be willing to open up with the professors and explain their struggles and situations, though to many this can be a challenge. The students also spoke upon issues that discussed race and ethnicity, and yet we are not speaking up about our education and how students of color are more than just the color of their skin. In understanding this, students of color can reach their full potential and can expand their knowledge in ways that will benefit their futures and help them to grow in the present. Not only this, but other students not of color can get a better understanding that color is only skin deep.

Individuals on the panel and in the audience had comments about the panel, among them being Patricia Hernandez, Communications Professor who was seated on the panel. “Dr. Briggs reached out to me over the winter break asking me to participate, and when I found out Dr. Dixon, who was new to Marian, was going to be a part of it I decided to be a part of it,” said Hernandez. Additionally, when asked what she loved about it she said she “loved hearing from students. We don’t realize what we do in the classroom but it was good to hear that feedback that students do see the diversity we are trying to include in the classroom.” 

Miriam Awe, Secretary of the Diversity Club, also had a comment. “It was great to come to the inclusivity luncheon to see that professors want to hear what I have to say,” said Awe. “I felt that it was very informative and I was glad to see that they are putting forth a change by giving people of diverse backgrounds more opportunities.”

To revert back to the title, “Marian is Changing,” it is showing the little actions that the school is trying to initiate within the classrooms and even within the clubs. Marian is putting forth an effort that shows that they care about people of diverse backgrounds, and are challenging the minds of individuals within the classrooms to critically think about the issues going on within our society. Although we are not fully there yet, we are definitely headed in the right direction to push us toward change. Plus, this story is not over yet. There will be another inclusivity luncheon coming soon. 

So now I ask Marian students, faculty, administration, and staff, what are you going to do to initiate future change at Marian University?